Susan Goodman, of Northfield, has had a successful career as the nationally known children’s musician Sooz, and as a jazz saxophonist. Now she’s tackling issues of bullying, bias and prejudice for audiences of all ages.
Goodman, 59, mixes music and storytelling in “Stand Up! Speak Out! Breakin' Down Bias & Bullying through Music” presentations to community groups and to students from kindergarten through college. She recently put out her eighth CD, “Live Out Loud ... on bias, bullying and bein’ brave.”
The mother of Boston engineer and musician Dylan G. Jackson, 23; and New York City actor Miles G. Jackson, 21, Goodman started writing about fighting prejudice in the wake of the Columbine school shootings and genocide in the Balkans in the 1990s. Her 2000 album, “Stand Up! Speak Out!,” encouraged kids to take action against bias and not be silent bystanders.
Then her sons were bullied in middle school in Absecon — Dylan for his intellectualism and Miles with anti-gay harassment, even before he came out as gay, she said. Inspired by their experiences, she wrote new anti-bullying songs to encourage empathy in kids, which became “Live Out Loud.”
She also completed a Holocaust and genocide certificate program, and got a political science degree at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in 2005.
Goodman shares her family story with students.
“I tell them I have two boys — one straight and one gay. I love them both dearly,” she said. “There’s no way you can tell me one of my children is more or less deserving of equality and any kind of rights, starting with personal safety.”
Contact Goodman at 609-432-6346 or see www.soozaroo.com
Ocean City musician
Kenny Wright, of Ocean City, grew up in a musical family of 11 children, with a mom who played guitar and a dad who was a tap dancer.
“I started playing guitar at five years old,” he said. By the time he was 16, he was playing professionally, and he never stopped, even when he took a job as a slot technician at the opening of the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City. He plays hip hop, pop and R&B.
Wright has added event promotion to his repertoire, and is both performing at and promoting the After Party for The Bar & Restaurant Show in New York City, on June 26 at the Latin Quarter Nightclub on Lexington Avenue. For more information, see www.docwoodproductions.com
Everyone Has a Story appears Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays.
Contact Michelle Brunetti Post: